It’s so easy to run into Target or Walmart, turn your shopping cart towards the pharmacy aisle, and thoughtlessly grab a bottle of shower gel or pack of soap off the shelf when you’re chatting on the phone or preoccupied with kids asking for all the things you don’t want to buy. You either choose the brand that you always buy or perhaps you pick another brand that’s on sale or matches the coupon in your hand. Either way, you may end up spending your money on yet another bath product that may contain ingredients that aren’t good for your skin or the environment.
When I started taking a closer look at the beauty products I was using, I started small and focused only on soaps and lotions. I applied the same approach to reading bath product labels that I applied to food labels. The shorter the ingredient list, the better. The more recognizable and pronounceable the ingredients, the better. Remember, what you put on your skin, goes in. So its really important to minimize your toxin intake as much as possible.
I have mild eczema, so I tend to avoid fragrances in bath products. Since I’ve become aware of the potentially harmful “mystery” ingredients in many common skincare products, I also try to avoid phthalates, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, aluminum and synthetic dyes. So I was really excited to find a beautiful selection of natural, handmade, fair-trade soaps for only $1/bar at Whole Foods. In February, the natural foods chain Whole Foods Market launched an exclusive soap with Alaffia called Good Soap and it smells and feels wonderful on my skin. Check out the video on Alaffia’s website to meet the incredible women who so beautifully use traditional African methods to create holistic shea butter soaps that are good for people and the planet. Now that’s green beauty!
And not only is Good Soap good for me, it is also good for a community of women in Togo, Africa. Proceeds from sale of Alaffia products provide jobs, funds for construction projects and bicycles that kids use to get to school. Plus Whole Foods diverts a portion of the product sales to the Whole Planet Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate poverty worldwide through entrepreneurship. Alaffia soaps are invigorating, affordable, fair-trade products that don’t contain harmful chemicals.
For more about Alaffia, download Whole Foods Market online magazine, Dark Rye (the Body edition) – it is such a good read with a modern, eye-catching design.